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Does notice of a garnishment hearing put an end to your options?

As you struggle with the ever mounting debt that has accumulated in your financial life, it may seem at times as if you can physically feel the pull of your debts. Outstanding balances may lead to considerable stress, and though you undoubtedly want to get your financial affairs in order, you may have little money to spare when it comes to paying off those balances.

If your debt becomes too much, the possibility exists that creditors could begin wage garnishment. The idea of losing even more of your limited income may send you reeling, and you could potentially find yourself in dire financial straits. Luckily, garnishment laws do provide certain protections, and you have options for stopping garnishment.

Garnishing wages

In order for creditors to garnish wages, a court hearing must take place. If the creditor can prove that you have not made payments on outstanding balances, the court may issue an order for garnishment. Your employer will then withhold some of your wages to send directly to the appropriate creditors.

You will likely receive notice of the garnishment hearing, and you may have the option to attend. Taking advantage of this option could allow you to present evidence that may withhold a court order for garnishment.

Amount garnished

If the order goes through to garnish your wages, your employer can only withhold a certain amount of your check. The Consumer Credit Protection Act states that the amount cannot go over 25 percent of your weekly disposable earnings or thirty times the minimum wage. The lower of the two calculations applies.

Job loss

You may fear that your employer will think badly of you if he or she receives notice to garnish your wages. However, this debt collection tactic should not result in your employment termination if your wages go toward one debt. Federal laws provide protections from termination if your garnished wages go toward a single debt. However, garnishments for additional debts do not fall under this protection.

Stopping garnishment

Hopefully, if you receive notice for a garnishment hearing, your presence and presentation of evidence will allow for your escape from this type of action. However, you still have options even if garnishment begins. Bankruptcy places an automatic stay on such actions, and the wage garnishment must stop during the active stay.

In order to find out more information on your bankruptcy options, you may wish to speak with an experienced Florida lawyer. This legal professional can help you better understand wage garnishment, how to stop it and what other benefits bankruptcy could offer.

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